Black History Month 2022 | Allin Stevenson
Our fourth Black History Month feature highlights Allin Stevenson. Allin has been a part of the SSC team for over 33 years, during which she has shown dedication to her personal and professional growth, as well as the growth of her team. Read on to learn more about her experiences at SSC and why she is passionate about Black History.
What does Black History Month mean to you?
To me, Black History Month is about remembering the past and those who had to make the path for us today. I started with SSC when we had a mall division. For many holidays, like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day, the mall would put up a festive display that everyone could see from both the ground floor and the second level. Over the years, it has been great to witness holidays like Black History Month being celebrated in SSC and in the world, like those holidays.
Who are some notable figures within SSC who inspire you?
Martin Luther King. He had a dream, and I have a dream. When a person doesn’t have a dream to make a pathway for themselves in the world, they will get lost. When I started with SSC, I didn’t plan on staying and actively looked for other jobs because you hear so much negativity surrounding contracting. But I prayed on it, and the Lord gave me a job and a path, and I stayed on it. From in-house at the mall, to contract back in 1989, and I am still with the same company today.
Who are some notable figures within Black History at SSC who inspire you?
The most notable figure at SSC would be Derrick Parker. You always hear people talking about how “I can’t do this,” or “I can’t do that,” and Derrick will tell you that you can every single time. He constantly reassures people and tells us to let him know if we have any problems. He has inspired me to move as far as I have in my career with SSC. He is an inspiring person, and if you are around him and don’t learn something from him, I’d be surprised.
What does it mean for you personally to be serving at a Historically Black College or University (HBCU)
It’s very special to me, because once you see these students of color trying to better themselves, you realize it’s somebody’s future for tomorrow. They don’t have a label to them, and they are trying to be something for tomorrow.
How do you strive to inspire your team and instill a passion for Black History?
I used to hold the weight of all the knowledge when it comes to the client and their needs, but now I share it and encourage my team to interact with the client often. There is often some hesitation from team members about who they should talk to, but I want them to know that they should talk to everyone in the organization and at our partner school. I want my team to know that even if they only plan to be here for 5 years, there is plenty for them to learn while they are here.
How are you encouraging the next generation to create a more diverse and inclusive world?
It’s really common now to see the next generation hop from job to job to job. I encourage them to grow personally and professionally by staying where they are to learn and grow. There is no perfect workplace, and each position that you are in has learning opportunities. I focus on educating the next generation about how to communicate, deal with problems and grow in the position that they are in.
What is one thing that makes you most proud to work at SSC?
When I first came on board, Don Williams interviewed me and actually hired me. I left home in Mississippi and came to Alabama. Don was always there for me- and he told me that if I didn’t like it in Alabama, he would get me home. He just asked me to try it for six months. He came up to see me every single month while I was there. What I appreciated about that, is that he always did exactly what he said he would do for me. At SSC, your word means something and people stay true to it. When I say that I am going to do something, I do it, and I can see others demonstrating the same thing every single day
What kind of mark do you want to leave on SSC?
At SSC, I want to leave a legacy of commitment. I believe in making a commitment, honoring that commitment, and sticking with it. I hope that is what I am remembered for here.